Impact monitoring and evaluation

Frau blickt durch zusammengerollte Blätter wie durch ein Fernrohr auf den Betrachtenden

The Volkswagen Foundation sees itself as a learning organization. This applies in particular to the Foundation's core business: science funding. Quality assurance procedures are established at all stages of the funding process - from the development of new funding opportunities, through the application and review processes, the accompanying monitoring of ongoing funding projects, to the conclusion of individual funding projects or entire funding programs.

Since 2005, the foundation has conducted external evaluations of its funding programs and areas. Independent experts scrutinize the foundation's ideas, concepts, instruments and procedures. In addition, the foundation uses external expertise for studies and accompanying research and conducts its own statistical evaluations, surveys and analyses in order to examine the effectiveness of its funding instruments on an ad hoc and needs-oriented basis and to improve them accordingly. In 2020, the external expert panel of the overall evaluation of the Volkswagen Foundation recommended further development in the direction of a systematic impact orientation of its funding activities. 

Goals of the foundation's systematic impact orientation:

  • The foundation learns whether and how the chosen funding instruments are working and how the funding offer can be improved.
  • Systematic data use provides it with an evidence-based foundation for strategic decision-making.
  • The transparent handling of the results of impact tracking legitimizes the foundation's funding activities and their orientation toward the common good.

Impact-Oriented Monitoring

We systematically analyse data from the project reports and carry out own surveys to keep informed about the research outputs (and outcomes) of the funded projects. We use this information for an evidence-based assessments of the impact and for the continuous development of our funding activities.

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External Evaluations

In external evaluations, independent experts carry out comprehensive assessments of the Foundations objectives, funding concepts, instruments, and procedures of the Foundation. 

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Accompanying research (in German)

When we want to introduce new funding formats and procedures, we initiate independent accompanying research. This research examines the impact and acceptance of pilot projects and provides impetus for further development.

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External Studies and Analyses (in German)

On behalf of the foundation, key results and impacts of selected funding initiatives and funding areas are analyzed and feedback on funding administration is obtained in order to derive recommendations for further funding action.

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